Tuesday, November 16, 2010

PR Tip #345

If a public relations firm promises to get you media coverage, they're probably doing one of two things:

1. Lying (to you and/or themselves).
2. Actually selling you an ad.

Look for another firm that tells you the truth: they will put their skills, contacts and creativity to work to give you a great shot at publicity--but they cannot guarantee anything.

Monday, November 15, 2010

KC A Pivotal Point in Musician's Career

Dan Coyle Performs Nov. 16 at RecordBar--Free CD with Every Ticket

Kansas City has been very good to Dan Coyle, and now the acclaimed singer songwriter Dan Coyle aims to give something back by launching his new CD at RecordBar Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

Coyle has twice played the KCRiverFest Independence Day Festival in Kansas City as well as other local venues. He had such an enthusiastic welcome from Kansas City audiences that he chose to offer his new CD "You Linger Your Little Hour And Are Gone" free to every ticket holder at his RecordBar appearance Tuesday.

"In 2007, I got my first big break when I played at the Folklore Alliance Conference in Memphis. From there I started to make some fans, got some exposure on some NPR stations. Things went pretty well until early 2009, when my Dad died," Coyle said.

"I lost some momentum. I wasn't working until KCRiverFest 2009 got me back on the road."
"I stayed in close contact with the people from Kansas City and it gave me this sense of hope that there was a need or a want or a market for my kind of music and I needed to get out and do things again. Kansas City gained this little place in my heart from what it did in breaking me loose from the stagnation. It wasn't a big break in the traditional sense but it got me back where I needed to be. I'm thrilled to be back in KC."

Tickets are $10 at the door or may be pre-ordered online. Every ticketholder gets a free copy of his new CD. RecordBar is located at 1020 Westport Road in Midtown Kansas City. Call 816-753-5207 for directions or more information. Singer Kevin Hiatt will open the performance.

Coyle recently completed a tour of the Seattle area and is preparing for a European Tour in February.

Coyle's music has been described by Alexandra McKay of the Prince Street Press as "Bright musicality and sunny inflections almost hide the thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics that are woven throughout this album. A lo-fi live recording that's simple without being simplistic, and utterly charming."

"It's an acoustic mix of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, with some soft and hard edges to it." Coyle said.

Coyle has released five albums to date, including "Random Thoughts and Incomplete Sentences" and "Briar Street: The Acoustic Sessions." His latest album is scheduled for wide release December 1. He has toured nationally, playing everything from small venues to concert halls to massive festivals.

For more information about Dan Coyle's music, including his complete tour schedule, song samples, video, interviews, reviews and special offers, visit www.dancoyle.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Coyle and on Facebook.

Online ticket preorder here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Media Relations Strategy: Opportunity Has a Secret Knock

Learning the “secret knock” on the door of opportunity is key when dealing with today’s news media. Check out this brief presentation to learn more.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

KCRiverFest Entertainment Lineup Announced

Gold Record Winning ‘Head East’ Returns to Kansas City

Rock and roll legends, country stars, jazz and ragtime acts will take the stage at KCRiverFest July 3 & 4.

Presented by Friends of the River—Kansas City, the acclaimed festival returns to Richard Berkley Riverfront Park for a sixth year with a diverse lineup of bands and an 18-minute fireworks spectacular by internationally-renowned Zambelli Fireworks. Again, festival goers will also be treated to a six-minute “sneak preview” fireworks show on July 3rd at approximately 10 p.m.

Legendary gold-album certified band Head East will headline on the Friends of the River Main Stage at 8:30 p.m. July 3rd. Head East has Missouri roots and has appeared in more than 5,000 concerts over the past 25 years. From St. Louis to Seattle and Dallas to Detroit, Head East has performed in every major city and market in North America. Led by founding member, keyboardist and producer Roger Boyd, Head East is one of the hottest, most exciting live shows touring today.
Other acts appearing July 3rd acclaimed guitarist Fast Johnny Ricker, bluesman Rich Berry, the Bluecat Creole Band and Chicago-based singer/songwriter Dan Coyle. Coyle was a crowd pleaser at last year’s KCRiverFest.

July 4th entertainment will feature the best in country and jazz, with performances by returning KCRiverFest favorites Bayley Kate and Phil Vandel. The all-girl group broadBAND will lead in to the wildly popular U.S. Air Force Shades of Blue Jazz Band. As in years past, the Shades of Blue will perform patriotic standards and tributes to the Armed Services, culminating with the 18-minute fireworks show over the river by the First Family of Fireworks, Zambelli International.

Besides the Friends of the River Main Stage, two new stages will offer something for everyone. The Show Me Stage presented by Radio Disney is under a shade tent and features children’s entertainment. The children’s zone in the stage area offers inflatables and other activities, including Tom Mancuso of Sit Means Sit Dog Training. As seen on Animal Planet, Mancuso will return to demonstrate the Sit Means Sit dog training method.

KCRiverFest will feature the best in ragtime and jazz musicians at the Americana Pavilion presented by the Kansas City Ragtime Revelry. Grab a seat under the shade tent as emcee Bill Long (known by ragtime fans for his years emceeing Sedalia's Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival) keeps the Americana Pavilion hopping both days of the festival welcoming the best in ragtime performers. Acts include the New Red Onion Jazz Babies, TurpinTyme Ragsters, Marty Mincer, Frederick Hodges, the Rhythmia, the Sunflower Ragtime Orchestra and many more.

2010 marks the inaugural year of a new tradition: the First Annual KCRiverFest Canoe & Kayak Invitational Championships. Be sure to be at KCRiverFest at 3 p.m. July 4th to watch these river racers challenge themselves and their competitors on the Mighty Missouri.

The U.S. Army Strength in Action Zone returns, featuring an Apache helicopter simulator, Guitar Hero stage, dog tags and the Army fitness challenge.

Complete schedules, a new map of the park and detailed information about performers are online now at www.KCRiverFest.com. Regular priced adult tickets are $6 at the gate, but may be purchased online for $5 at www.KCRiverFest.com. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are accepted online. Children age five and under are admitted free of charge. Only cash will be accepted at the gate.

Community groups and individuals may volunteer at KCRiverFest. More information and volunteer applications are available at www.KCRiverFest.com or by calling 816.960.3400.

A special package deal is offered by the Downtown Marriott, including a room with a panoramic view of the fireworks and tickets to the festival. A link to the special hotel package for KCRiverFest visitors is posted on www.KCRiverFest.com.

Sponsors for KCRiverFest include Friends of the River—Kansas City, the Port Authority of Kansas City, the Neighborhood Tourism Development Fund, U.S. Army, Midwest Living magazine, Burns & McDonnell, Mazuma Credit Union, Country 94.1 KFKF, Q104, Mix 93.3, Star 102, ink, Radio Disney, Capitol Federal, Clear, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, DST Systems, BNSF, Ameristar Cares, Central States Beverage Co., Isle of Capri Casino, GE Energy, HNTB, King Hershey, Konrady’s, Corporate Branding, Liberty RV, Missouri Bank, Missouri Gas Energy, Downtown Kansas City Marriott, the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Lockton, TranSystems, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, the Session Law Firm, Sound Check and Bartlett and West.

Friends of KCRiverFest include American Red Cross, the Hon. Mayor Richard Berkley, Centerpoint Properties, Cold Storage Lofts, Enterprise Rent A Car, Jim & Ann Foil, Chris & Lois Gutierrez, Hanson Professional Services Inc., KPMG, Kansas City Garden Railroad Society, Kansas City Kite Club, Kansas City Parks & Recreation, Kansas City Water Department, Mark Laverentz, North Kansas City Levee, J. B. Reynolds Foundation, Taliaferro & Browne, Tetra Tech, Tradebot Systems, Trinity Transport Foundation, Turner Construction and The View Condo Association.
KCRiverFest is produced by EventPros, Inc., Kansas City’s creative meeting, event and communications resource. Visit EventPros on the web at www.EventProsInc.com.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

EventPros Quoted in Nat'l Mag: Social Conscience Marks Corporate Special Events Today

Check it out:

With top managers eager to burnish their corporate image with a cynical public, many event professionals are adding an altruistic element to the special event programs they create. From local programs to nationwide campaigns, the focus today is on demonstrating the host's sense of social responsibility.

"Community involvement is becoming more prevalent in our corporate culture," according to John Short and Bill Svoboda, owners of Kansas City, Mo.-based EventPros. "Clients are decorating holiday events with toys that are subsequently donated to children's charities, and hosting their employee picnics in conjunction with public fundraising events to ensure their employees are aware of the company's civic commitments."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

KCRiverFest Updated, Facebook Page Launched

Friends and fans of KCRiverFest 2010 will be cheered to learn that the main website, www.KCRiverFest.com, has been updated, and a brand spankin' new Facebook page is also a going concern.
Come on by and check out the latest on THE Summer Festival of Kansas City!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Veach Joins EventPros

Sauce fans will be happy to learn that Douglas D. Veach has joined EventPros, Inc. as business development associate.

Douglas is a great guy and will be doing some cool stuff at EP--he will spearhead EventPros’ business development operations as the company continues its growth in Kansas City and expansion to markets outside the Kansas City metro area.

A graduate of the University of Kansas, Veach has worked previously in the real estate and construction industries with success in sales, marketing and management. He was a partner in the construction of two commercial retail centers and previously founded a landscaping firm.

“We’re very excited to welcome Douglas to our team,” said Bill Svoboda, EventPros co-owner. “His strong entrepreneurial background is an ideal match for the EventPros corporate philosophy. Douglas will certainly be a major asset as we look forward to continued growth in our community and beyond.

Svoboda and EventPros co-owner John Short graduated the Kauffman Foundation Fast Trac and Growth Strategies entrepreneurial programs; both are advocates of the Kauffman entrepreneurial philosophies. Since 2002 EventPros, Inc. has grown to five employees.

Award-winning EventPros, Inc. produces corporate special events, trade shows and meetings. Locally, the company produces the KCRiverFest July 4th festival as well as numerous corporate meetings, celebrations and special events. Outside Kansas City EventPros has been recognized for their work planning events in Texas, California, Connecticut and Puerto Rico.

For more information visit www.EventProsInc.com or why not give Douglas a call 816.960.3400.

Welcome aboard, Douglas!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Strategy, Strategery and Management By Hair on Fire

In my 20 years in the world of work, I like to think I’ve seen just about every permutation of communications/message management. I’ve worked for companies or organizations that set up intricate, focus group-driven strategies and never budged a millimeter from those plans.

Conversely, I’ve worked places that had ’strategery’: they thought they had a strategy–perhaps even had one on paper, but in real life it was really pretty seat-of the pants stuff. It was all do/say what works well at the moment, worry about future implications later.

The third type of communications management I’ve experienced is by far the worst: hair on fire. The hair on fire plan involves one faction of the organization demanding a coherent strategy, another part bucking that strategy; and a third, ultimately dominating faction who believe in a nihilistic, “damn the torpedoes” flurry of activity–running around with their hair (figuratively) on fire. Every day is a new day. “The strategic plan’s a great idea but it doesn’t apply today” or “we have a strategy?” and activity (however fruitless or pointless) equals performance.

All three of these communications/messaging management areas have their problems–even the competent, stick-to-it strategy (there needs to be some “wiggle room” even in the best strategy).

However, even strict, no-improvising adherence is usually better than sitting down for a day or two and hammering out a strategy then locking it in a drawer and rarely revisiting it– ala strategery.

Strategery-oriented organizations know in general what they’re supposed to be doing, but somehow January becomes June and June becomes October and very few communications-related goals are achieved because strategic plans are not followed or even revisited for tweaking. In effect, they are an exercise like climbing the rope ladder at a team-building event–you feel good about completing it and everyone pats each other on the back, but it has dubious far-reaching benefits.

Hair on fire: well, all I can say about that is good luck. If you work in an organization that cannot come to grips with a coherent, basic communications strategy and instead spends all its time and energy reacting instead of managing communications to prevent brush fires, then you need help. Fast.

All it may take is one PR crisis, the loss of key personnel or a competitor with its stuff together to start your company on the path to failure.

Which communications management does your company or organization practice? Do you have any horror stories–or better yet, stories of hair on fire being doused by a competent strategy? Let us know in the comments section–you can remain anonymous.

Originally posted at the AlexanderG Whiz Blog.

Shaken Not Stir Fry

or: A Quantum of Stir Fry

In keeping with the Sauce's predilection for good recipes, we present this offering, loosely inspired by James Bond (somehow).

I’ll be the first to cop to being a pretty boring cook. Unless it was toast, eggs, spaghetti or something you could put on the grill I was reliably Dr. No. However, one evening in a fit of inspiration I gave my wife a break and created this dish using ingredients we had on hand. It’s now a family favorite (at least I think it is).

The shot of vodka is really the only thing remotely tied to James Bond, but hey, it sounds cool. Tastes alright, too.

Have fun with this—you don’t need all these ingredients (you may not eat meat–hey, whatever works for you) or you may want to add some ingredients of your own. It’s really up to you. After all, you only live twice, 007.

Your License to Kill…The Ingredients:

1 medium-sized red, yellow or white onion, chopped

1 medium-sized red pepper, chopped

1 medium-sized green pepper, chopped

1 medium-sized yellow pepper, chopped

1 clove of fresh garlic, chopped

Optional: Fresh diced tomatoes, chopped

¾ cup of olive oil*

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

* Or 1/4 cup butter

1-2 tsp crushed black pepper

1-2 tsp kosher or sea salt

14 oz. summer “rope” sausage or kielbasa, sliced

Louisiana Hot Sauce

1 shot of vodka

3 cups No Yolks egg noodles

5 cups water

From Q…The Tools:

1 medium-sized skillet

1 medium-sized pot



Walther PPK (Kidding…)

The Mission

1. Heat olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or if you choose, melt REAL butter—if you use margarine I don’t know you) in a medium skillet over low heat. Add onion, pepper(s), garlic (tomatoes if you choose) and sautĂ© all over low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add sliced sausage or kielbasa—they should resemble little coins of flavor amidst a sea of veggies. Move the pieces around in there frequently.
3. Season with Louisiana Hot Sauce, black pepper and salt to taste, stir frequently.
4. Add 3 cups of egg noodles (or noodles of your choice) to 5 cups boiling water. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
5. Cover skillet and let cook 10 minutes—especially good when sausage starts to blacken at edges. Juice should be red and taste a little spicy. Add more olive oil and vinegar if necessary.
6. Drain noodles.
7. Try not to let the skillet contents overcook, as vegetables will become too soft.
8. Add shot of vodka just prior to serving, stir.
9. Serve vegetables, sauce and sausage over noodles in wide bowl. I prefer chopsticks, but it’s a little labor intensive. (Keep in mind, though, the chopsticks are an effective weapon in case Blofeld and his cat shows up uninvited.)
10. Serve with wine, beer, Vesper martini or any other beverage.
Enjoy and try not to let it drip on your tuxedo—Moneypenny will notice!

Originally posted at AlexanderG Whiz Blog.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Toyota Does the Right Thing

UPDATE (2/5/10): Perhaps we spoke too soon...our bad. Though Toyota did admit there was a problem, turns out they have made many, many PR and management missteps on the way to this point. We apologize for not investigating further. --Ed

Toyota rocked the already shaky automotive industry yesterday by announcing the halting of sales of their top models until they fix a potentially fatal defect.We've said it before, we'll say it again:
Mistakes owned-up to quickly are a matter of forgiveness. Drag your feet, dissemble or lie and it becomes a matter of corruption, criminality or mistrust. Ducking or covering up and apologizing only after you have nowhere else to hide--or under court order--will effectively destroy your reputation and cost you in money, energy, time and brand equity.
Toyota screwed up their cars. They are doing the right thing to prevent complete destruction of their brand image.

What do you think? The comments section is open.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dominos Turning It Around?

What if your product wasn’t good? What if your customers tell you that your product isn’t any good? What do you do? The natural reaction is likely to get defensive and tout the aspects of the product that you think are strong and shy a way from conversations that are negative about your product. This means that social media marketing for your business is likely out of the question. However, what if you had the opposite reaction and tackled the negative head on. Domino’s Pizza did.

Read more.